By Tyler Lamb
On a daily basis I reference many TV shows, movies, comic books, and a multitude of items within pop culture. There are times where my references are a little more obscure than the rest and I understand why people don’t get them. However, once in a while, I will reference something that the majority hasn’t even heard of. This will be a reoccurring article highlighting these different things throughout media that you should be paying attention to. This specific article I will be talking about the TV show Arrested Development.
Arrested Development was a show that aired on Fox from 2003-2005, and just recently got picked up by Netflix to shoot a 2013 season and a movie to be released after. It stars Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, and was created by Mitchell Hurwitz. This show changed a lot for sitcoms that came after it, including camera style and ways of ‘rewarding’ the long time viewers. It is the highest rated comedy TV show on IMDB and won six Emmy’s over its three-season span. It follows Michael Bluth (Bateman) who must, begrudgingly, take over his family affairs when his father (Tambor) is imprisoned, but his dysfunctional family proves more than difficult to supervise.
Arrested Development took a huge leap of faith with its camera work. It was one of the first shows to use a single camera, guerrilla style shooting technique that is used throughout comedy shows today like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family. Unlike these shows, however, there are no talking head parts or ‘confessionals’ from the characters who also don’t seem to be aware of the cameras following them. The story is moved forward by the brilliant script and amazing casting.
The script of this show is one thing that simply amazes me. Not only are many jokes out-front and hilarious, but also there are many running gags throughout the series. One of my favorites is about Michael’s son George-Michael’s (Cera) girlfriend Ann (Mae Whitman) and how she is a strange, plain looking girl. There are also references to past episodes that aren’t even always said but may be something happening in the background of a scene. I have viewed this series from start to finish multiple times, and almost annually since it first started airing, yet I still find jokes that I didn’t notice beforehand. This makes the show an almost new experience during each reviewing of the series I do.
Clip from Arrested Development
Since this show a couple of the actors have become very popular in Hollywood, like Michael Cera, and others had a good history already attached to their name, like Jason Bateman and Jeffery Tambor. However, Arrested Development is the pinnacle of every actor in this shows career. After watching this series you won’t be able to imagine one of the actors playing another role, and you will understand that each role is perfect for its specific actor. David Cross, who plays Michael’s strange brother-in-law Tobias Funke, really sticks out in his performance, and everyone else seems to bring his or her A-game as well. Not only do they bring out the best of their characters, but they all play off of each others characters brilliantly making every single reaction amazingly believable.
The way this show takes on all of its stories makes it hard to think that it could be offensive or morally wrong to view. It is pure comedy with some life lessons along the way. The changes in the characters from the start to finish and mirrors in the script are amazing. And with the entire original series being on Netflix, and this new season being released on it as well, there is almost no excuse to not start watching and experiencing this amazing, brilliant, and hilarious piece of television.